Matt Moulding’s THG faces ugly row over beauty discounting

Beauty suppliers to THG are restricting the flow of stock to Matthew Moulding’s online retail empire over concerns it is too aggressively discounting to hit sales targets, The Telegraph can reveal.   

Dermologica, an upmarket skincare brand owned by Unilever, is among the big names which have taken action to protect their pricing by reducing supplies to THG. 

The consumer goods giant is a growing force in luxury beauty products and it is understood concerns over THG have grown in recent months across parts of the industry. 

Unilever declined to comment.

An industry source at another supplier said: “They’re not the only ones. Working with THG is not easy because of the high profit margins they need, but when they tear down your brand too it’s not worth it.”  

The row has emerged as Mr Moulding prepares for a private equity bidders to seize on THG’s bombed-out share price. Bankers from Barclays and Jefferies are advising THG on a potential bid defence.   

THG owns a string of popular beauty websites including Lookfantastic, Dermstore and Cultbeauty, which have grown rapidly with investment in digital marketing and social media promotion.   

The rebellion led by Unilever signals that the mounting pressure THG and Mr Moulding have been under since going public in 2020 has now spread to its supply chain.   

On Friday THG shares closed at an all-time low of 113.4p, valuing the company at £1.4bn. That compares with its float valuation of £5.4bn and a peak of more than £8bn.   

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